To consider a report providing an update of progress in terms of management of the joint waste PFI contract since the Board’s last meeting on 13 March 2014.
The Board received a report providing an update on the progress made since its last meeting on 13 March 2014. The report included an update on work to improve access at Smallmead Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC), an update on the pressure at the Longshot Lane HWRC at peak times, the development of the Communications Strategy and an overview of financial matters.
The Board was informed that outstanding issues in relation to traffic flow at Longshot Lane HWRC had not been resolved. A situation that placed the site in breach of its planning conditions. Officers would be meeting with FCC and Bracknell Forest Council highways and planning teams to try and resolve the situation. It was acknowledged that resolving the problems caused by on site traffic flow would not solve the off site problems caused by traffic queuing to access the site. This allied to a number of other considerations including future housing growth in the re3 area meant that a more strategic approach to the problem would be required. It was agreed that the most appropriate way forward would be to carry out an objective review of the pressures at Longshot Lane and the identification of potential solutions. The Board was informed that a significant volume of information about the site and its use was readily available and this should help reduce the time period needed for this piece of work.
The Board considered the proposed job description and person specification for the proposed re3 Marketing and Communications Officer post and the following points were noted:
· The qualifications required were considered too vague and needed to be more specific to attract high calibre candidates
· Skills and abilities point 5 should read ‘An understanding of website management and social media’
· Main duty 5 should read ‘To develop and co-ordination communications…’
· The devising of effective communications and market methods was considered to be a key aspect of the role and should placed more prominently in the job description
· The post holder would be required to provide regular reports to the Board
It was acknowledged that a crucial aspect of the post holder’s work would be to ensure that co-ordinated messages went out to all re3 council particularly in relation to recycling and efforts to increase the levels of waste sent for recycling and improve the quality of the recycling collected. However this work would only be successful if all three re3 council were committed to supporting it and working co-operatively.
Funding for the post during the current financial year would come from unspent funds in the Waste Minimisation Budget. However, from 2015/16 additional funding would be required from the re3 Councils. DEFRA have recently announced that they would be making funding available for partnership based work through their Waste Innovation Fund. It was agreed that this was a potential funding stream that should be explored.
The Board noted the financial update. It was reported negotiations were underway with DEFRA over potential changes to the contract that would enable re3 council to send non-recyclable waste to the Didcot MRF for processing.